• HCDE operates four special schools—Academic and Behavior Schools East, Academic and Behavior Schools West, Highpoint School, and Fortis Academy—serving three populations of students: those with severe emotional or physical disabilities; troubled or adjudicated youth; and students recovering from addiction.

    The Schools Division partners with Harris County school districts to offer individualized learning through small-group instruction in highly structured classes. The goal is always for students to return to their home schools to graduate. 

Who We Are

  • Academic and Behavior Schools (ABS) East and West provide an educational environment for those students identified as having severe behavioral difficulties, emotional difficulties, and/or developmental disabilities. The classes are specifically designed to help special education students to function successfully. Staff members at the Academic and Behavior Schools use data-driven behavior management techniques emphasizing positive reinforcement. The philosophy of the ABS program revolves around the premise that significant learning and behavioral changes may be achieved by the following:

    • Appropriate educational tasks;
    • Reinforcement that is meaningful to the student; and
    • Student knowledge of socially acceptable, responsible behaviors.

    Highpoint High School, opened in 1995, gives expelled or adjudicated youth a second chance at success. Featuring individualized learning or small group instruction in highly structured classes, our schools prepare students to return to their home schools to be successful and ultimately graduate with their classmates.


    The innovative Fortis Academy is the first public recovery high school for students who live in the Houston area. The school, which opened in 2018, combines coaching, counseling and academics. Services are provided in a small learning community, with a low student-to-teacher ratio and individualized learning. Students attending Fortis complete a substance abuse or dependency rehab program. They continue their high school education in a sober environment.

Schools Division Resources

  • 2022–2023 ABS Placement Procedures

  • 2022–2023 HCDE Special Schools Parent Student Handbook

  • 2022–2023 Academic Calendar

  • Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) Resources

  • Student Learning Objectives (SLO) Resources

  • TEKS (An Online Curriculum Management System) Resource

  • Bullying Complaint Form

  • Bacterial Meningitis Flyer

  • Parents: Please note that students attending our schools have been referred to us by their home school districts. If you're interested in having your child attend one of our schools, please contact your school district.

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